Mackenzie Loesing scored 23 of her career-high 25 points in the second half as the University at Buffalo picked up their first home win of the season, 68-59, over Big 4 rival Canisius College on Wednesday before 1,326 at Alumni Arena.
Christa Baccas and Kristen Sharkey combined for 27 rebounds to lead a dominating UB defense. UB forced 27 turnovers and made 17 steals in the game, scoring 29 points off turnovers. The steals were the most in a single game by any Buffalo team in almost 11 years to the day – Nov. 26, 2002 against Colgate.
Loesing had five steals and Margeaux Gupilan and Baccas had four apiece at the Bulls improved to 3-2. Loesing’s previous career high was 24 against Miami (Ohio). The Griffs (3-3) were led by Tiahana Mills with 12 points and Emily Weber with 11.
The game was close early, with four ties and three lead changes in the first 10 minutes. With the game knotted, 14-14, at the 9:46 mark, the Bulls grabbed the momentum to take a 29-23 advantage at halftime.
Loesing was slowed by foul trouble in the first half, contributing to her two points and eight minutes.
An 8-0 run early in the second half would swell the Buffalo lead to a game-high 13 at 38-25, but the Griffs would slowly whittle the lead down over the next 10 minutes before tying the game at 47 with 6:04 to go. Gupilan would drive a nail into the Canisius comeback bid, hitting a three-pointer to take a 50-47 lead and spur a 10-2 spurt that would provide a lead the Bulls would never relinquish.
Buffalo’s next start is at Pitt on Sunday at 2 p.m.